“Apple without Steve Jobs at the helm?” said Richard Waters in Financial Times. That’s what worried investors have been contemplating for several months, as the cancer-surviving CEO’s health showed “visible signs of deterioration.” Jobs sought to allay those fears Monday, but Wall Street should ease up—Apple’s recent reshaping of “large parts of the digital media industry” wasn’t “the work of one man.”
Still, Apple’s share price rose 4 percent on the news that Jobs is undergoing a “relatively simple” procedure for a hormone imbalance, said Andrew Ross in the The San Francisco Chronicle. Its “Plan A”—saying Jobs’ canceling of his iconic keynote address at Tuesday’s Macworld Expo was unrelated to his health—clearly failed. Hopefully, Apple will learn that transparency can be rewarding.
Not everyone is buying is the “hormone imbalance” explanation, said Brandon Keim in Wired online. Experts say the statement Apple released “is contradictory and makes little sense.” With the information available, Jobs could have “anything from hyperthyroidism to a new form of cancer.”
The issue of Jobs’ health has been “quite a minefield for Apple,” said Tom Krazit in CNET News, but now that it has finally broached the subject it “may have opened a Pandora’s Box.” Rumors about Jobs’ health can sink share prices, and Apple may now find it has to release regular updates. To avoid being a slave to “The Steve Jobs Deathwatch,” Apple should release details about its secret succession plan.